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Chines military nuclear firm invited to bid for building Small Nuclear Reactors in Britain

fearflag-Chinaflag-UKChinese firm with military ties invited to bid for role in UK’s nuclear future,  
China National Nuclear Corporation on government list of preferred bidders for development funding for next-generation modular reactors,
Guardian, , 8 Aug 16, A controversial Chinese company has been selected to bid for millions of pounds of public money in a UK government competition to develop mini nuclear power stations.

The China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) features twice in a government list of 33 projects and companies deemed eligible to compete for a share in up to £250m to develop so-called small modular reactors (SMR).

The involvement of a different Chinese company in the high-profile Hinkley Point C project in Somerset was widely believed to have prompted the government’s decision to pause the deal at the 11th hour last month.

Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s co-chief of staff, has previously expressed alarm at the prospect of CNNC having such close access to the UK’s energy infrastructure because it would give the state-owned firm the potential ability to build weaknesses into computer systems.

The company was formerly China’s Ministry of Nuclear Industry and developed the country’s atomic bomb and nuclear submarines, as well as being a key player in its nuclear power industry.

In an article on the ConservativeHome website, Timothy singled out CNNC’s military links as a reason the UK government should be wary of such involvement.

“For those who believe that such an eventuality [shutting down UK energy at will] is unlikely, the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation – one of the state-owned companies involved in the plans for the British nuclear plants – says on its website that it is responsible not just for ‘increasing the value of state assets and developing the society’ but the ‘building of national defence’,” he wrote.

Tom Burke, chairman of the environment thinktank E3G and a former British government adviser, said there were legitimate concerns over the company. “I don’t fuss very much about the Chinese owning a nuclear power station [China General Nuclear in the case of Hinkley]. But I would be much more concerned about bringing in CNNC because they are known to be much more closely involved with the military and Chinese nuclear weapons programmes,” he said.

CNNC was not involved in the original Hinkley deal but it was reported on Sunday that the company has agreed in principle to buy half of China’s 33% stake in the £24bn project if it goes ahead…….. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/07/chinese-firm-with-military-ties-invited-to-bid-for-role-in-uks-nuclear-future

 

 

 

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August 8, 2016 - Posted by | China, marketing of nuclear, politics international, UK

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